Data is the most valuable asset for every organization. It provides meaningful insights that organizations can use to make informed decisions. By analyzing trends and patterns within their data, business executives can better understand their customers, markets, and operations.
However, most organizations face the challenge of data silos, where data is stored in separate systems and departments, making it hard to access and integrate information. In fact, statistics reveal that an average company has over 2,000 silos of information. And as per the Customer Journey report, this data silos is the greatest problem when obtaining insights from data.
The best solution to eliminate data silos is to develop a data lake that consolidates data from multiple sources into a unified repository, thus promoting data integration and collaboration. And OneLake by Microsoft is one such solution that offers a unified and intelligent data foundation. In today’s blog, we will explore OneLake, its significance, functionality, and key aspects.
Everything You Need to Know About OneLake?
Back then, Microsoft unveiled Fabric, billed as the end-to-end, unified analytics platform. The Fabric essentially combines various applications and analytical tools an organization needs such as PowerBI and Synapse.
And at the core of Fabric is OneLake, a single, centralized, logical data lake for the entire organization. Just like OneDrive, OneLake comes as a part of every Microsoft Fabric tenant package. It is designed to be the only place to land all your analytics data, thereby breaking down data silos and simplifying the management of your organization’s data.
One of the best aspects of using OneLake is that there is no need for any infrastructure to manage or set it up. The concept of a Microsoft tenant is a distinctive benefit of a SaaS service. Thus, Microsoft automatically provides only one management boundary for the whole organization, which is ultimately under the governance of a tenant admin.
Some Notable Features of OneLake
- Multiple Lakehouses
Within OneLake, users have the flexibility to create multiple “lakehouses” in different workspaces. All these lakehouses exist within the same physical OneLake infrastructure but are logically separated. This provides many security benefits as organizations can keep private and confidential data separate and have their own access policies.
Additionally, the concept of different workspaces improves flexibility as different departments within an organization can work self-reliantly while still contributing to the same data lake. Each workspace has its own admin, region, access control guidelines, and billing capacity. This means that different departments can work autonomously, managing their own data and access within their designated workspace.
Another notable feature of OneLake is Shortcuts, which enables organizations to easily and swiftly share data between users and applications without the need for moving or duplicating it.
When different departments of an organization work in separate workspaces, shortcuts help to combine all data across different domains into a virtual data product that matches the user’s specific needs.
- One copy for multiple analytical engines
Most applications typically separate data storage and computing. This means that the data is often tailored to work optimally with a specific engine only, posing challenges when attempting to reuse the same data for multiple applications.
OneLake, however, resolves this issue by enabling different analytical engines such as Spark, T-SQL, Analysis Services, etc., to store the same data in the open delta parquet format. Using this format, multiple engines can access the same data without copying or duplicating it. This feature enables organizations to easily choose the best analytical engine for every job without any data compatibility concerns.
Benefits of OneLake
Now let’s look at the most notable benefits of OneLake.
- OneLake helps to eradicate data silos and streamline management tasks such as governance and security. It facilitates distributed ownership of organizational data as well as easy data sharing without duplication.
- OneLake offers a familiar user experience as it is part of the power platform. This reduces training time and boosts adoption rates.
- OneLake resolves most of the common data segregation and scalability problems. It achieves this by dividing data into two components: Tables and Files. Tables represent managed data tables, while Files refer to regular files. This division enables Fabric to enhance the user experience by automatically discovering specific artifacts when certain patterns are followed. By leveraging this approach, OneLake streamlines data management and improves the usability of your data within the platform.
- Using the OneLake file explorer, OneLake may be simply accessed from Windows. This enables users to navigate all different workspaces directly in Windows. This makes it easy to use even for non-technical business users.
- Finally, OneLake is an open data lake. In addition to being built on top of Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, it supports the same ADLS APIs and SDK. This means OneLake is compatible with all existing ADLs applications like Azure HDInsights and Azure Databricks.
Challenges of OneLake
One of the biggest challenges associated with OneLake is that it is less configurable than Azure Data Lake Storage, a cloud-based storage solution offered by Microsoft Azure.
Also, having only one OneLake for each organization may present challenges when trying to convince the security team about the security of multi-tenant Fabric scenarios. If OneLake is separated into different instances, each instance would need its own Azure Active Directory (AAD) tenant, similar to how Power BI operates.
Is OneLake the Future of Data Warehousing?
Now coming to the most important question, is OneLake really the future of data warehousing?
Well, OneLake certainly has the potential to be a key player in the future of data warehousing. As a unified data lake platform, OneLake offers various benefits that align with the evolving needs of modern data warehousing.
For instance, OneLake seamlessly integrates with many analytical services, such as Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Databricks, and PowerBI. This allows organizations to perform advanced analytics on the data stored in OneLake. The ability to leverage these powerful analytics services within the same platform simplifies data processing and enhances data insights.
Additionally, OneLake embraces a distributed ownership model, enabling different departments of an organization to have their own workspaces and control over their data. The platform also offers robust security measures, such as encryption and compliance features, ensuring the protection and privacy of data as per industry standards.
However, it is important to note that the future of data warehousing is influenced by industry trends, technological advancements, and evolving customer needs. Organizations must evaluate their specific needs before determining whether OneLake is the best choice for their business model.
OneLake stands as a brilliant and upcoming solution in the data engineering landscape. It is automatic provisioning for every Microsoft Fabric tenant and the ability to offer centralized data storage across Amazon, Azure, and more platforms makes it an ideal choice for data management.
Furthermore, its innovative features and functionalities, such as supporting managed and unmanaged data, quick data loading, provision to create multiple lakehouses, and a familiar user experience make it a great solution for diverse data needs.
If you are looking to implement OneLake in your business, the experts at Algoscale can help. As a data engineering service provider, we specialize in data engineering, analytics, and data warehousing services. We can provide valuable assistance and expertise in implementing various technology solutions that are well-suited to support your precise business model. Get in touch with us to know more.